Hiring a Marketing Agency vs. In-House

Who is This Guide For?

This is aimed at business owners and senior marketing officials who are not sure if they need to hire a digital agency, or their own in-house staff. Maybe you’re at the end of your contract with your digital agency, and you’re wondering if bringing these services under your roof would be a better fit. Or maybe you’ve been paying a full-time staff, and you’re wondering if you can get more value for less money.


Pros of Hiring In-House

  • Increased Valuation: When you’re getting prepare the business for an exit or acquisition;
  • Flexibility: in the scope of work;
  • Brand representation: An in-house digital marketing manager may have a deeper understanding of your brand because they are with your team everyday;


Cons of Hiring In-House 

  • Hard costs: according to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost for businesses to add a new employee is $4,129 with an average of 42 days’ time to accomplish this:
    • Training;
    • Vacation;
    • Benefits;
  • Soft costs: such as culture fit;
  • No creativity: Only doing marketing for one brand can make it difficult to be creative all the time. You might not end up with the best results if there’s a lack of creativity. With an agency, however, they work on several projects at once, which allows for a fresh perspective;


Pros of a Marketing Agency

  • Immediate results: Since digital marketing agencies are full of industry experts, they can recommend the best methods to help you see results quickly. Whether you want to get into paid ads or simply want to boost your organic SEO presence, they’ll have suggestions on how to achieve the results you’re looking for;
  • Skill Diversification: When you hire an agency to manage your digital marketing efforts, you get an entire team of professionals working on your strategy;
  • Cost efficiency: typical full time salaries:
    • Digital marketing manager: $70,394 – $150,481
    • Copywriter: $67,500 – $109,750
    • Graphic Designer: $56,500 – $93,000
    • Web designer: $71,000 – $113,750  
    • Web developer: $71,000 – $113,750 
    • SEO / SEM SPECIALIST: $63,500 – $102,750
    • Social Media Manager: $58,250 – $93,500
    • Email Marketer: $57,494 – $92,761
    • Agencies have applied similar strategies many times and know the most efficient way from point A to point B. A good agency partner will have a process figured out that works well for your business and be able to produce consistent results thus they can get it done faster and with less ad budgets than an in-house team;
  • Better talent: Great online marketers are brilliantly creative, but with that creativity comes an aversion to boredom so these rockstars prefer to work on multiple accounts simultaneously in agencies.
  • Partner perks with tools and software
    • Cheaper access to platforms such as Hubspot and Clickfunnels;
    • Early access to Alpha and Beta programs. Often, we’re able to provide our clients with access to new marketing options prior to their general public release (think extended headlines, RSLA campaigns, Gmail sponsored promotions, etc);
    • Faster support. Anyone who’s tried to contact Google or Facebook about problems with their account knows that it can be an uphill battle to get your needs met;


Cons of a Marketing Agency

  • Poorly skilled: a bad agency ruins it for most companies and leaves a terrible taste in the mouths of business owners. 
  • Rigidness in scope of work: some agencies like to lock in clients to a fixed scope of work. 
  • Time to understand your business: for someone who isn’t an employee of your company, it might take some time to really understand your business. From getting the right tone down to finding the right keywords and locations to target, it’ll take a bit of practice for a digital marketing agency to become familiar with your brand. However that’s why having a smart team is important because these guys will understand your business fast. 


The hybrid approach: Best of both worlds

Many organizations find that a hybrid approach works best. Most already have at least a core nucleus of in-house marketing professionals, yet their range of expertise or resources are limited. It can be highly cost-effective to aid this team by outsourcing key services to agency specialists.

When deciding how to structure your in-house marketing team, it’s helpful to examine your strengths. Typically, in-house staff live and breathe the brand and tend to have a far deeper understanding of the unique selling proposition(s), product set, buyer personas, and so on. In-house teams are often better suited to create content, write messaging, and develop communication strategies. On the flip side, in-house teams might struggle to implement new marketing automation or stay up to date on SEO and paid search trends.

To remain competitive, marketing agencies have to stay updated on the latest marketing research and trends. They also work with many different clients and industries, which gives them exposure to innovative tactics and new technologies. Where the in-house team struggles, an agency can help. For instance, the agency can manage their paid advertising campaigns, optimize their webpages for target keywords, and design creative material, like videos, ads, and brochures.

Agencies bring an outsider’s perspective that can help in-house teams identify opportunities to innovate.

Shameless plug: here at Yooka we at times come in to set up campaigns while the company is in the hiring process and hands off + trains the new hires when they found their perfect candidate. 


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